The continuous almost indefinite green landscape of Urdorf has strongly affected the main decisions of the proposal for this new school building for the expansion of the infrastructure of the existing Kantonsschule Limmattal. The new Limmattal-train connection and the strong social space as meeting point of the entire neighborhood have defined the decision to create one unique building, that addresses the educational complex towards the main access paths (pedestrians, bicycle roots, train and car access. The direct connection to the existing building wasn’t regarded as necessary, therefore takes the new building a distance from the past. In contrast to this generous decision the new building is offering a high degree of flexibility of use in the ground floor where the Auditorium is placed. The “emptiness” of this multifunctional space works as the articulation point that connects the open air sports facilities on the west and east part of the plot as well as the entrances from the future Limmattalbahn-stop, the pedestrian route from the south and the open spaces for the break-time of the students. The quality of the main square that works as an extension of the interior Auditorium is enhanced by urban furniture, a Beech tree, a water pond and the staircase towards the existing sport fields on the east. The spatial program is divided around the generous patio that extends till the upper level of the building. So as to achieve the best lighting conditions for the regular classes and avoid unwanted light in the Sports Halls and the Auditorium the building is divided through an axis from north to south in two sections: on the west, stacked one on top the other, Sports halls and the auditorium and on the east the music, physic’s, chemistry and biology classes. Through the central patio the whole building is revealed anytime ,and at the same time the lighting conditions of the additional inner pause-spaces is improved. This hall adds a lively character to the core of the new building. The facade of the building, working as a unique exterio skin that encloses the new education spaces is made of Polycarbonate panels including a UV Filter to protect from extensive light exposure during the warm months of summer. An air-conditioner corridor is designed between the exterior facade and the interior walls of the classrooms to help a natural ventilation. Due to this compact building solution the landscape surrounding the school entities is emerging generously. In order to compensate the obligatory sinking of the main square to the north, an almost 70% of the earth removed is replaced in form of organic slopes all over the landscape. The existing thick tree-mass on the south is maintained and enhanced towards the west to cover the playfull slopes. A tree row of Linden- mapple- and chestnut species is placed along the train-lane to the north, to smoothen the connection of the school with the circulation to the north.

Laboratorium KLG, Laboratorium-Studio, Mondejar y Asociados
Stadt Zürich, Expansion of the Cantonal School Limmattal,
April 2017 Competition, 7. Prize